Review: The Legend of Michael

Posted May 4, 2011 by Jen in 3.5 stars, Paranormal Romance, Rating B, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Fiction Tags: ,

The Legend of Michael

Release Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Zodius Series Book # 1
ISBN: # 978-1402251566
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): paperback (382 pgs), e-book
I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review.
From the author’s website:
One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.
Fate leads Michael back to Cassandra Powell, for she holds the key to defending his comrades. With their loyalties divided between duty and the people they love, only together can Cassandra and Michael overcome insurmountable odds to save humanity from the wrath of a madman.
But no ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one thing is clear—the world will never be the same…
What Gikany is talking about:
Cassandra Powell is a psychologist brought into Area 51 to evaluate the soldiers created in the Project Zodius GTECH Super Soldier Program.  These soldiers have been created through the injection of alien DNA.  The more mundane changes seen in the GTECH soldiers are increased strength and speed and immunity to human diseases.  “Wind-walking”, the ability to travel quickly and invisibly using the wind, is one of the unexpected abilities seen in the GTECHs.  Cassandra’s job is to evaluate the GTECHs to determine why some of them have begun to exhibit strange behavioral changes, especially increased aggression, along with their new gifts.  One mutation in particular, X2, has been linked to increased aggression and unprovoked violence in animals.  When Cassandra learns that Michael Taylor, the GTECH soldier she loves, is X2 positive, she decides not to tell him.
When General Powell, Cassandra’s father and the man responsible for creating the GTECHs, decides to cage all of the GTECH soldiers who test positive for the X2 mutation, the GTECH soldiers rebel.  The rebels quickly split into two factions: the Zodius and the Renegades.  The Zodius are the more radical of the two factions and are working toward world domination.  The Renegades seek to protect humans from the  Zodius but no longer trust them after General Powell’s betrayal.  Michael, stung by Cassandra’s duplicity, joins the radical Zodius faction.  
This has been a difficult review for me to write.  I enjoyed The Legend of Michael.  This novel is divided into two parts (aptly called part 1 and part 2).  The problem is the second part of this book is by far better than the first part.  The first part of the book is an attempt to meld the world-building essential to a science fiction story with the development of the romance between Cassandra and Michael.  Neither of these two tasks is done well.  The story begins with a hasty romance — Cassandra and Michael meet, and boom, they’re madly in love with each other.  No time is taken to explore the main characters or to show their developing relationship.  It would have been nice to learn more about the development GTECHs from the alien DNA.  
Fortunately, the book picks up in part 2 after the rebellion.  I quite enjoyed the way Ms. Jones developed the two disparate societies of the rebel GTECH soldiers.  This was nicely balanced by the struggles of the Renegades to balance themselves between maintaining their autonomy from the U.S. government while still seeking to protect ordinary humans from the Zodius.  The development of the characters improves in the second part of the novel as well, but is never great.  I was never entirely certain why Michael was supposed to be so tortured by his past.  He repeatedly tells Cassandra that he is unworthy of her, but you never see enough of his past, or any disreputable actions in the present, to support his belief.  Cassandra and Michael develop a real relationship in the second half of the book as they contend with the consequences of the rebellion and the developing GTECH societies. 
From my glance at the preview of the next book in the Zodius Series, it appears that this series will continue by following the romantic entanglements of a member of the rebel GTECH soldiers.  The next book follows a GTECH who joined the Renegades, but   who is to say Ms. Jones may not choose to focus on the Zodius soldiers in future novels.  I enjoyed The Legend of Michael and look forward to reading other books in the Zodius Series.
G’s Rating: 
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)

One response to “Review: The Legend of Michael

  1. I’ve got this one on the way for review and I’m now a little worried… At least you liked part 2, right? I haven’t been disappointed in Lisa’s work before, so I’m hoping for the best.